Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More News from the Alaska State Fair

Today I am featuring 2 other artists whose work we carry in our Fair booth. The first is Heather Krawiec of Fairbanks. She makes fabulous fleece hats and each one is unique. Her company is Mountain Heather.

The other wonderful artist is really 2 artists! Ardella Hagen and her daughter Lucinda Durham create treasures from birch bark in the form of baskets, bowls and cylinders. I am a big fan of theirs and have quite a collection!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Alaska State Fair

We survived opening weekend at the Fair with excellent attendance and great sales. This year, my jewelry displays are spread around the building and it seems to be working.
Here is a mixture of some necklaces, earrings, earring sets. Below are my knitted, felted handbags.

This is some of my freeform beadwork and new oxidized necklaces. On the opposite wall are my two earring racks -- the "bread & butter" of Orion Designs! My earring sets (lower right) are a hot commodity this year as well. I raised the price of them this year for the first time in about 8 years. This was necessitated by the rise in the price of precious metals. I'm thankful that my customers appreciate the materials and the work that goes into creating them.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Opening Day!

I thought it might be nice to highlight the big sign for the State Fair along the highway. Each day, the sign features what musical entertainment will be happening that day.

And here's a photo of our booth -- all set up finally! Yes, opening day was a little overcast, but it cleared off later in the day. There was a great turnout for a Thursday and we remain optimistic!

Today's feature is Cindy Shake Design. This is a large metal sculpture entitled "Garden Goddess". She's already been getting lots of well deserved attention!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

... Still Setting Up

As promised, here's a picture of the new back door ... well, it's the opening for it anyway. Since I took this picture, the actual door has been installed by Rick and painted by Carol.

Carol grabbed the camera and captured me while displaying the travel mugs (cool colors, huh?) and the ceramic mugs, which have always been great sellers for us.

Here's Carol again --- this time she's going mad --- amidst a large pile of our newest product. They are some really cute lavender colored zippered hooded sweatshirts with a new swirly design.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Setting Up at the Alaska State Fair

It seems like the State Fair comes as a surprise every summer. It's our 11th year doing this Fair. Even so, we never know where to start. Setting up takes days and days. Here are some highlights of the first 2 days of set-up. The Bad Girls building, built by Rick in 1998, is set in place with a huge forklift by the contractor. here's what it looks like before we even touch it:

Stored inside the building are the components of the ramp and handrail, which Rick built last year. It took us (mostly him) a few hours to install them.

The next day, while Rick is busy creating a back door (photos in the next post) for the building, Carol and I start the set up. Here she is outside the building on a ladder looking at me inside, through the window. I'm extremely busy rolling hundreds of t-shirts and slowly going mad doing it (sorry, no photo available).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lampwork Earings

I started with lovely lampwork beads from Deronda Designs. They are of and indescribable golden hue, with touches of aqua and soft pink. Emerging from the bottom is a collection of glass beads in coordinating colors, including some tiny aqua colored vintage glass beads.

These earrings are 1 1/2" (3.6 cm) from the bottom of the sterling silver leverback earwires. They are available for sale in my
etsy shop.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Lariat Style Necklace

Starting with sterling silver rolo chain, I created this lariat necklace. I love rolo chain for it's sturdiness -- it can carry substantial designs, using large pearls and stones. I oxidized the chain and the other silver components, then tumbled them for this highly polished steel gray finish.

I created the textured circle by fusing a length of fine silver wire and then hammering the resulting circle. It acts as one part of the toggle closure and the stick pearl acts as the other part. The pearls I selected for this necklace begin with a deep midnight blue, transitioning to a paler blue and then gray, and finishing with stark white. The asymmetrical aspect of the necklace has huge appeal and really works with this style.

This necklace is available for sale in my etsy store.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cards from the Current TJ Newsletter

I've been doing some card making for the past 2 days while I wait for a new jewelry inspiration to strike.
This first card is the Bandana Technique. I created a background using sponges and 3 colors of dye ink. I stamped this ornate swirl design (Stampin Up!) in black ink. Now comes the bandana part: using a white gel pen, I added lots o' dots in selected areas around the swirls. Then I stamped one of my favorite word stamps in the upper right corner and embellished withe 3 dotted brads, carrying the dot theme to the extreme.

The next card has little stamping, but resembles tiles. I used coordinating pieces of designer papers in mosaic fashion and embossing powder is where the "grout" would be.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Striped Lampwork Earrings

These artisan lampwork beads feature stripes in shades of golden yellow and cinnamon-y orange. I have surrounded them top and bottom with amber beads.

From below hangs a chain: each link of the chain holds a bead of amber, ranging in color from a rich, buttery yellow to a pale honey color, finishing with warm cinnamon. Some of the amber is transparent, some is translucent and some are completely opaque.

All of the silver is sterling. Length from the bottom of the leverback earwires is 1 3/4" (4.5 cm).